Connect with us


A Decade Ago: Mom Tri dreams of developing new International Baccalaureate school

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Mom Luang Tridhosyuth Devakul, probably better known on the island simply as ‘Mom Tri’, scored page one a decade ago with his dream of developing a new International Baccalaureate (IB) school for the island.

With a master’s degree in architecture from Harvard – the real Harvard – Mom Tri was an early visionary leader, recognizing Phuket’s potential and was instrumental in the development of the Phuket International Airport, as well as a number of other properties on the island, such as the Royal Phuket Yacht Club, which in 1986 was the island’s first luxury hotel and is now reopened as ‘The Nai Harn’.

The vision for the IB school was beautiful and was to include an ‘integrated community’ with the school at its heart. There was also to be a residential development, sports facilities and a library.

Unfortunately, the plan neither bloomed nor bore fruit. Instead, it has merely become a foot note in the development of educational institutes on the island.

Though the Phuket Gazette was keeping it classy and staying in-tune with the community with the lead in the October 15-21 2005 issue, there was plenty of titillating sensationalism with the sidebar headline: Bar busted for under-age male prostitution.

The gist of the story should be pretty well understood from the headline: 20 alleged male prostitutes, some under the age of 15, working at a bar on Soi Paradise, were rounded up in a sting operation.

“Using banknotes with pre-recorded serial numbers, the officers paid for sexual services from six boys under 18 years of age, including two 14 year olds, and then made the arrests… The fact that the boys willingly engaged in prostitution has little bearing on the charges,” the Gazette reported.

Such an effective effort by police makes the recent months of officers ending up empty handed after raiding nightlife venues in hopes of finding illegal workers look quaint. But maybe, just maybe, officers ten years ago did such a good job that there aren’t any illegals left operating on the island.

Well, of course, there will always be just a few that can’t afford to pay for tea and end up surfacing here and there, such as the man running sex shows on Soi Bangla who was outed by pop star Rihanna via Twitter in 2013.

This issue also detailed the budget for the Rawai Pier, which has become a staple landmark for the southern tip of the island, and even has Stephen Fein, who still wields the pen for the Gazette‘s editorials, discussing his battle with lower-back pain. However, the real kicker is the Time Machine (October 15, 2000): Protests cause park fee increase to be postponed.

The implementation of the dramatic increase in park fees, which were to only apply to foreigners, was pushed back from September 13 to October 1, 2001. The fee for a foreign adult was to jump from 10 baht to 200 baht.

Twenty years later, almost to the day, a foreign-faced, American citizen who was born and raised in Phuket – and very much Thai at heart – worked up a social media frenzy about double-pricing at Emerald Pool, Krabi. He refused to pay his 200 baht.

To read the entire October 15-21, 2005 issue, check out the Phuket Gazette archives online (here) – or, for those who have been around awhile, start cleaning out the attic.

— Isaac Stone Simonelli


Want more Thailand news from the Thaiger family?

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS for instant updates on your mobile
📝️ Join the conversation on Thaiger Talk - discuss news & life in our Thailand forums
📧 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🔔 Subscribe to or Join our YouTube channel for daily video updates


Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Coronavirus (Covid-19)58 mins ago

6 school closed after infections are found

Coronavirus (Covid-19)1 hour ago

Wednesday Covid Update: 2,331 new cases; provincial totals

Best of2 hours ago

Top 5 Meditation Centres and Retreats in Thailand

Phuket Sandbox July 1st


Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in July - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages in June!

Sponsored by image

Phuket2 hours ago

Thai police chief donates 100,000 baht to Phuket man shot by a drunk officer

Coronavirus (Covid-19)2 hours ago

Covid-19, food delivery brings rise in plastic and infectious waste

Thailand2 hours ago

Renowned Thai doctor cautions against letting tourists avoid 14 day quarantine

Thailand3 hours ago

PM Prayut Chan-o-cha says sorry again for delays in the Covid-19 vaccine rollout

Politics3 hours ago

Trial begins in Myanmar for former leader Aung San Suu Kyi

Best of3 hours ago

5 Top Secret Beaches in Phuket

Environment3 hours ago

Blacktip reef sharks get protected status as Environment Minister blasts video cruelty

Northern Thailand4 hours ago

Dozens of python eggs found underneath home

Thailand4 hours ago

100 neglected cats rescued by Save Elephant Foundation

Coronavirus (Covid-19)4 hours ago

Leading Thai doctor calls on government to accelerate vaccine rollout

Thailand4 hours ago

Good Morning Thailand | Tracking wrist bands for sandbox? Sex tourism, 2022 Michelin Guide

Best of4 hours ago

Top 5 Gyms in Bangkok

Thailand3 months ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism3 months ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism4 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand4 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism4 months ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11

Thailand5 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8